Reports emerge that link the reclusive communist dictatorship in East Asia to the Islamic Republic of Iran and they conclude that not only is North Korea helping Iran develop nuclear weapons but also secretly testing those weapons for them.
A security briefing in the Congressional Quarterly asserts that the D.P.R.K. may have tested two nuclear devices for Iran in 2010. The Diplomat writer Jason Miks traces the origins of this rumor all the way to a report published in Nature from physicist Lars-Erik de Geer – research director at the Defense Research Agency in Stockholm – that claimed to have found radioisotopes present that would indicate the presence of a “uranium bomb explosion.”
These findings will be published in the Princeton University journal Science and Global Security. While testing nuclear weapons is nothing new from North Korea, linking the regime to Iran is a completely new thread in the story. Jason Miks highlights that “Similar skepticism was voiced over North Korea’s claim to have mastered uranium-enrichment technology – until it unveiled an advanced, industrial-scale enrichment facility to no less than Siegfried S. Hecker, a former head of the United States’ Los Alamos National Laboratory.”
Tying North Korea’s nuclear weapons program to Iran may help lay the groundwork for an eventual U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran but it is not the first time the two regimes have been linked, aside from both being members of George W. Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil.’ Whether or not any one of these things will be enough to push Israel to attack Iran unilaterally remains to be seen.